Roger Hallam, 52, organic farmer from Wales and XR co-founder Hallam was arrested in 2017 for criminal damage when he and another person spray-painted “Divest from oil and gas”, “Now” and “Out of time” on walls at King’s College London, using water-soluble chalk-based paint. Both were cleared of all charges by a jury in 2019 after they defended their actions as being a proportionate response to the climate crisis. People joining Extinction Rebellion (XR) are trained in how to conduct themselves peacefully when participating in direct action. According to Hallam, direct action has several aims and objectives. One is to cause disruption and financial costs to the state to build pressure for political change. Another is for individuals to show their commitment – that they are willing to sacrifice their liberty for the cause. Increased disruption and more people arrested creates a bigger impact. The training explains the possible legal … [Read more...] about Extinction Rebellion: the arrestables – a photo essay
Boris Johnson described protesters from Extinction Rebellion on Monday night as “uncooperative crusties” occupying “heaving hemp bivouacs” on the streets of Westminster. At the Extinction Rebellion protest site on Trafalgar Square on Tuesday morning, Nicola Hargreaves snorted as she considered the prime minister’s remarks. “I’m a solicitor,” she said. “And I’m dressed in clothes from Whistles that I’m pretty sure don’t have any hemp in them at all. So Boris can shove his comments up his arse.” Disbelieving when told where the prime minister had been speaking – at the launch of a biography of Margaret Thatcher, which he advised the protesters to read – Hargreaves, 50, added: “It makes me half angry, and half I laugh at him because he’s so ridiculous, he’s devolved from reality.” The XR protests are not without the sort of veteran environmental campaigners who might align … [Read more...] about ‘We’re not crusties’: Extinction Rebellion activists dismiss PM’s jibe
Just 12 months ago, news that hundreds of environmental activists had been arrested for taking part in peaceful civil disobedience would have seemed unthinkable. Now, as evidence of the climate crisis escalates, it is becoming the new norm. This week, Extinction Rebellion activists are once again blockading central London, and other cities around the world. But why are they protesting, and can their key demands be met? Why are Extinction Rebellion protesting this week? Extinction Rebellion activists want to force political leaders to take urgent action to address the climate emergency, and thousands of them have taken to the streets in cities around the world this week in an attempt to do just that. So far, in London, they have held 11 key sites and carried out a series of “actions” – from glueing themselves to government buildings to locking themselves to a funeral hearse parked across a junction at Trafalgar Square. There have been more than 300 arrests and … [Read more...] about What are Extinction Rebellion’s key demands?
Extinction Rebellion activists have called on the BBC to “tell the full truth” about the climate crisis as they protested outside its headquarters in central London. Camped outside the main entrance of New Broadcasting House on Friday morning, the protesters held a banner stating: “BBC, your silence is deadly”, and chanted”: “Whose BBC? Our BBC”, and: “BBC, can’t you see, this is an emergency”. Police officers stood between the dozens of demonstrators and the entrance. Several appeared to be glued to the ground near the doors. The group called on the BBC “to meet its crucial moral duty to tell the full truth on the climate and ecological emergency”. Over a tannoy, Extinction Rebellion activists broadcast a number of mock bulletins in the style of those that could be aired if the UK was flooded. “Make your food stocks last, ration your supply,” a man warned, before a siren rang out. “With immediate … [Read more...] about Extinction Rebellion protesters call on BBC to ‘tell climate truth’
As Extinction Rebellion held protests in cities around Australia this week, Guardian journalists tracked down protesters to find out who they were and why they were taking part in acts of civil disobedience. Here, 11 people who took part in protests in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne explain what motivated them to take to the streets. Martin Wolterding, 75, environmental scientist “I’ve been a member of environmental organisations for probably 30 years. I joined Greenpeace when it was still ‘save the whales’. And slowly but surely the environment continued to degenerate, the ecosystem degenerated. The situation is far worse than it was 30 years ago. “The legal ways of doing this simply haven’t been effective. I have a three-year-old grandson and a 14-week-old granddaughter and I think of the future they will have. And I grieve for them. “I’m an environmental scientist. I am a marine ecologist. I have studied this for all my adult life. And … [Read more...] about Extinction Rebellion: who are the protesters, and why are they doing it?